Research and development support for advanced engineering

The UK’s research infrastructure is sophisticated and well developed, in both academia and the private sector.

Many businesses have their own R&D operations.


Research infrastructure

Catapult network

The Catapult Network has 9 innovation centres across 40 locations in the UK. In each centre, businesses, scientists, technical specialists and engineers work together on late-stage research and development.

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult works through 7 organisations. Find out more on their websites:

Major UK research organisations 

Find specific projects and detailed information on the work of research organisations on the websites listed below.

Manufacturing

Materials

Robotics

Research resources

Online resources

Konfer is an online tool that uses smart matching technology to connect UK universities and businesses.

UK Research and Innovation’s Gateway to Research website gives information on current and past UK research projects, including publications, outcomes and contacts.

National research schemes

Organisations and schemes such as Innovate UK and its parent body, UK Research and Innovation (the public body supporting research and innovation across all sectors) can help you. The body also brings together the UK’s research councils, such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Find out more about UK Research Councils and their funding opportunities on the UKRI website

UK Research and Innovation’s Gateway to Research website gives information on current and past UK research projects, including publications, outcomes and contacts.

Find out more about help for R&D in our guide to incentives, funding and support in the UK.

Tax relief for innovative advanced engineering companies

The UK tax system provides strong backing for engineering entrepreneurs and their investors.

R&D tax reliefs for innovative advanced engineering companies

You can claim corporation tax relief if you are working on an innovative project in science and technology that meets the UK government’s definition of R&D.

There are 2 main types of R&D tax reliefs:

  • small and medium enterprise (SME) R&D relief, for companies with less than 500 staff
  • R&D expenditure credit, for larger companies

Get guidance on R&D tax relief on GOV.UK

Capital allowances

If your advanced engineering business is investing in plant and machinery, you may be eligible for generous first year tax reliefs of up to 100% of the cost of these.

Find out more about capital allowances and how to claim them on GOV.UK

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

EIS and SEIS are UK government schemes that help you if you’re a younger, higher-risk businesses raising finance. They offer generous tax reliefs of between 30% to 50%.

Find out more about the Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme on GOV.UK.

Funding opportunities for advanced engineering companies

Specific opportunities that could benefit your business include:

Private equity and venture capital

With a mature and highly sophisticated capital market, the UK is both a leading destination and source of capital investment for advanced engineering.

Find out about the opportunities available in our guide, Access to Finance

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